Back from Florida and ready to continue my waterfall chasing trip. The next stop was down to Mankato to check out two waterfalls, one at the state park and another is on private land, but open to the public to view. An hour’s drive from the Twin Cities, Mankato is home to a college town and not much else. The state park is a little bit outside of town and there are two sides, one that has buffalo and some longer hiking trails and the other is home to the waterfall, Minneopa Falls.
The cost to enter the park is USD 7 and you can pay online or pay at a dropbox. Once COVID restrictions are lowered you will payable to pay by card at the park, currently, there is no one working the permit office. Check out trail maps for Minneopa State Park.
Day 1 – Mosquito Hiking & Two Waterfalls 02.13.2020
Reading online I found out that the hike to the waterfall is maybe 10 minutes round trip from the parking lot, so I decided that with the hour and a half drive from my place, I might as well find a nice hiking trail to make it worth my time. I took the Minnesota River Bluff Trail which is 7km (4.4mi) long. The trail wraps around the Bison enclosure and goes along a river that you can barely see due to the woods.
This might have been the most mosquito-infested trail I have been on in my life and honestly, I rate this hike as 1 star out of 5. Three quarters through the trail it merges onto Mill road, which people use to drive through the Bison enclosure. The trail then goes up to the top of a hill with a lookout over the enclosure and an old Windmill. Once at the top, I was able to see the bison.
Done with the hike I got back into my car and drove over the waterfall. There is a small fall on the top of the creek and then it drops off to the big one at 12 meters (40 feet).
If you’re feeling adventurous you can walk down to the creek, cross a bridge and then walk along the cliffside to get right up next to the waterfall.
The last stop on my way back was the more disappointing waterfall, Minnemishinona. The only reason this was disappointed is that it is on private land so you can only get an ariel view. Unfortunately, you cannot walk down to the bottom. Either way, worth the 5 minute stop.
Nine waterfalls down, a lot more to go! Minnesota Waterfall Counter:
- Wolf Creek Falls – Banning State Park
- Big Spring Falls – Banning State Park
- Swinging Bride Falls – Jay Cooke State Park
- Vermillion Falls – Vermillion Falls Park
- Willow Falls – Willow River State Park
- Minnehaha Falls – Minnehaha Regional Park
- Shingle Creek Falls – Webber Park
- Minneopa Falls – Minneopa State Park
- Minnemishinona Falls – Mankato
Thanks for reading and liking my post, cheers!